Risks Higher for Men in Body Contouring Surgery

Reshaping operations can be challenging after massive weight loss

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Male gender and hypothyroidism are among the risk factors for wound dehiscence following body contouring after massive weight loss, according to a report in the Sept. 15 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Michele A. Shermak, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed patients who had body contouring surgery after massive weight loss. Seroma, wound dehiscence, blood transfusions and extended lengths of stay (more than two days) were among the complications evaluated.

Of the 139 massive weight-loss patients who had body contouring surgery between March 1998 and October 2004, the majority (82.7 percent) were women and the mean age was 41. Male gender was associated with significant risk for wound dehiscence. There were also trends towards dehiscence with hypothyroidism and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Asthma and having three or more simultaneous procedures increased the risk for blood transfusion during body contouring surgery. An extended length of stay was also associated with having three or more procedures done.

"Future studies are necessary to further identify risk factors that put patients undergoing body contouring after massive weight loss at increased risk for poor outcomes, and to determine how to possibly modify conditions such as hypothyroidism and asthma that are proven to result in problems," the authors conclude.

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